A lengthy interview yesterday with Dennis Gilligan who manages the elite estates portfolio at Massachusetts distributor United Liquors. Gilligan was tapped (sorry) by restaurateur Dave Dubois to get a keg program going at The Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood and knows the logistics of kegs as well as anyone I’ve encountered. Dubois’ concept goes well beyond offering a few standard wines on draft.
At The Citizen, the idea is to use the keg as a vehicle for forging relationships with individual properties that bring higher-end wines and custom blends into the restaurant — ten kegs of this, twenty of that – the sort of thing you wouldn’t be likely to see anywhere else.
Dubois told me that his dream was to have the kind of place where customers would come in and ask “what wines are on tap tonight?” in the same way they might typically order beer.
But there’s no reasonable expectation that whatever you had last month will be available on your next visit. That’s because, as Gilligan explains it, winemakers fill keg orders first, then put whatever remains in bottle. For guys like Dubois, this means there’s no coming back for more – once the order is exhausted there’s no re-supply until the next vintage has been put up and is ready to ship.
Of course, if you’re making wine specifically to go into keg, this isn’t an issue since you will have set aside a tank or two to fill keg orders as they come in.
Originally posted on Boston.com